First off I thought I finished in around 5:40- 5:45 because I calculated all of the legs separately and averaged it in my head right after the race where I obviously wasn’t in the best state of mind, but I finished in 6:05.
Just let me go back a little.I got to sleep the night before at 10:00 pm but slept at around 11ish. I woke up at 4:30am. Had an 8 banana smoothie with a lot of water and put all of my things in order for the race. At around 5:50am I decided to put my number sticker on the wetsuit. It took a while. I had to pick up my friend Ameer who was also participating with me. He lives right next to me and I live right next to where the race is going to start.
I leave the house at 6:05 ( the race starts at 6:55 ) and reach Ameer’s house at 6:11. I then realised that I forgot my water bottle at home after picking him up. So Ameer tells me to go back we have plenty of time, so I race back home and collect my water bottle and rush back out. It’s now 6:25 and they have started closing down the roads. We stay stuck in traffic for a while till it starts to move. We reach the four seasons ( The swim start ) at 6:40 and they don’t let us in telling us they have already closed this part because the race will begin in 15 minutes. So we struggle to find a parking spot and we end up parking at a building close by. We get out of the car and start running towards the four seasons ( Ameer was in his sandals )
So we make it just 10 minutes before the race and I put on a brand new wetsuit that I’ve never used before. It was really windy and I really didn’t feel like getting cramps while or after the swim. I came wearing my sunglasses and they are prescribed but I couldn’t swim with them so I gave them to a friend ( Hala, thank you for being a champ and staying till I was out) to give me after the swim.
So that happened.
As we were waiting in line to jump in to the sea I was trying to stretch out my wetsuit as much as I can before the swim in the hope that you know..it would not be too tight. Anywho I end up jumping in and boy was it a disaster. I was really having to pull to get that stroke and because of that I got a little anxious and started to lose my breathing rhythm. Then I told myself just push! push! push! . Halfway through the swim I began thinking to myself ‘What if I just die now, would anyone notice?’ ‘ If I let go, would I fall into the sea or will I float ?’ Then I was finished. In 41 minutes I did a 1.9k ( Now on the website it shows 44 mins. So I’m not sure when exactly do they start counting but as soon as I jumped in I hit the start button ).
As I run out of the water I can barely see anything, and I don’t see Hala ( The girl with my prescribed sunglasses) . So I just run into transition and I thought she’d left. I didn’t blame here. It was windy. I now decided that I was going to race race blind. Ok, not blind but let’s just say it’s very dangerous for me to drive without my glasses.
I struggle to find my way to transition and I finally find my bag where my helmet and race belt is. So I get into gear and I find my bike and run to the bike start part and right before I get onto my bike I see a bunch of people taking pictures and one of those people were Hala!!!!! With my glasses!!!! Looking for me!!!! So I put on my glasses and I can now see again.
I get on my bike and start battling the wind. I was very very careful to not go above 30km/hr. Just because I didn’t have the training miles and I didn’t want to over do it. I stayed in between 28-30km/hr. Now my gels were all taped on my bike and they were giving me crazy paper cuts .
My leg was beginning to look like some character out of Zorro. Now I haven’t eaten GU gels since 2014. But at the time they worked for me and I remember the Hi5 gels and those were something that definitely didn’t work for me. I had 6oo calories worth of gels and I realised right there and then, that wasn’t enough. I though the large banana smoothie would be enough but I was wrong. The swim had burnt right through the smoothie. And I was stuck with only 6o0 calories worth of GU.
I ate the ones that were giving a paper cut first. Which were 3. The one I enjoyed the most was salted caramel and the one I despised the most was vanilla orange. What the heck is that all about? That was such an off flavour, and it was hard to wash off. I ended up taking one of the Hi5 gels and then fed on bananas the remaining 30k of the bike leg. I finished 6 gels in 2 hours and still wanted more food.
The ride inside the circuit was beautiful, it really pushed me and made me look forward to the run. I finished the bike 90k later. Took off my cycling shoes, put on my running shoes and got straight to it. I started fairly fast and that was a mistake. I was running a 4:45km/hr pace. At 4k I knew I was going to get hurt if I continued on this pace. So naturally I continued until the pain turned into agony. My IT band was on fire and my ankles were really feeling it.
I then really had to slow down. I started at some point running in a 6:30 pace. I then stopped at every food station and put food into me. I instantly felt better. I’d take an orange, a banana, 3 salty crackers and some energy drink. Did that till the 15k mark. Then all I took in was energy drink . The pain was agonising and I now knew that it was too late to quit. So I meditated . I started running much much faster. I went to a 5:30 pace and kept it there. In the last 2k I was in a surreal experience. My mind was not in my body. My body was running but my mind was up in the air with the clouds. I felt nothing. I went faster and faster. It was just my body that was running after all and not me. I wasn’t present at the time. I did the half marathon in 2:00 hours.
Finished the whole race in 6:05. A personal best 😀
After checking my watch it added up to 6:00 but who cares! I don’t.
The volunteers were phenomenal. They were part of what kept me going. So upbeat and encouraging. The event was so well organised and there are so many people that I want to thank but want to thank God first for allowing me to complete this adventure with no real training. Everyone who helped me in this journey ( you know who you are ), thank you.
And for those of you pestering me about me not finishing it cause of least year and what not. Well, I won’t say in your face!!. But thanks for putting so much thought into me in general. I’m genuinely flattered.
Next post will be about post ironman as this post is pretty long already. Post. How many times did I say post in this last paragraph?